It took me a while to sit down and fully re-live Norah’s Birth Story. Some of you may know, some may know the little details – so I’m here to share how the Lord completely restored our Faith in Him!
My Due date had come & Go, and we were in talks with my midwife about booking an induction. Those who know me, know that although I didn’t have a plan set in stone. I was fully hoping to have a natural delivery with my midwife. I researched coping mechanisms, like labouring in the shower, bouncing on the birth ball, even slow dancing with Sean. Booking an induction was the first step in realizing that our plan, isn’t always Gods plan.
From 38 weeks till the morning of my induction I had multiple stretch & sweeps, I walked.. and walked.. Bounced on the ball, took evening primrose oil, drank raspberry tea like a boss (I’m not kidding.. 6-8 cups a DAY) and every midwife appointment when she would check me she would say “well.. Maybe just a little change” (Really, I think she was just saying that to make me feel better)
I remember the night so clearly (Tuesday, January 26th), I was sitting watching TV with my mom & my midwife calls and says “How do you feel about having a baby tomorrow!?” I knew that call was coming & I was going to have our baby that week, but the realism of hearing your going to have a baby TOMORROW, is pretty surreal. I called sean right away and said “Babe, we are going to be parents tomorrow!” We were so excited, but full of so many nerves.
Wednesday, January 27th
The Day we were going to meet our daughter (or so we thought!) I got up at 6 (surprisingly had a good nights sleep) Showered, did my makeup, went over my hospital bag and made sure we had everything we needed!
We got to the hospital at 7:45, 15 minutes before our 8:00 AM call time. They registered me & sent me into triage to wait for my midwife. Now, because I was being induced – My care had to be transferred over to an OB. My midwife came & checked me to see if I changed at all, and sure enough – no progress. After talking to the OB on call, they wanted to go ahead and put a cervical balloon in (A super uncomfy balloon they stick up your lady parts to help your cervix contract) but because the OB was called into an emergency C-Section, they told us to go home & come back at 3:00PM that day. Disappointed, but glad I could spend a few more extra hours with my puppy & hubby.
This was it! We were getting the balloon put in & getting the process started. Or so we thought. We waited in Triage for 2.5 hour, and were told “I’m so sorry, the on call OB got called into another Emergency.. Can you head home and come back for 8PM tonight?”
Are you kidding me.
Frustrated, we headed back home – Stopped at wild wings for one last effort to get labour going (Spicy spicy chicken wings!!.. It didn’t work, in case you were wondering)
This has GOT to be it. Right? After waiting in triage for 2.5 hour again, the OB came in and FINALLY inserted the very uncomfortable balloon. To my surprise, the contractions started RIGHT away! We were sent home again (with this balloon still in me!) and told to come back in 12 hours to get it removed. The contractions were coming full force, 2 minutes apart (Worst car ride ever.. I kept telling sean to avoid the bumps.. like he could avoid it)
I told Sean to sleep downstairs because I really need him to be really rest for thursday, because I knew it was going to be a big day for us. So as he grabbed the spare pillow & Blanket, I laid in bed – blared my worship music and breathed through the 12 hours of contractions.
Praying relentlessly & surrendering this whole experience to the Lord.
Thursday, January 29th
10:00 AM Okay – So we had a few blips in the road.. But today was the DAY (Or So I thought, again) I absolutely though I was dilated more (I was about 2cm before) – the contractions weren’t for nothing right??
So here we are, 4th time in childbirth triage in 24 hours. The couple next to us were going through the same thing. She was 37 weeks pregnant, 0 CM dilated & Had the balloon put in the same time as me.
The OB came in, took out the balloon – Checked me and said “Maybe… MAYBE 3CM” ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? All that pain, for 1 cm. Lord.. Please please, Show me your way. The Dr. then became concerned that Norah was floating to high & that the umbilical chord was going to drop before her (Which would mean an emergency C -Section) Because of her concern, she wanted to start ( finally! ) my induction, get my water broken and insert a catheter.. & because of how high she was floating, I had to lie completely flat with a catheter inserted until Norah was born. So no labouring in the shower, on the ball, slow dancing with sean.. All of what I imagined, was thrown out the door.
Too add the cherry on top, Remember the girl who came in the same time as me? They took her balloon out right after me.. And this is all I heard “You are 5 CM!! You are ready to go! Lets get this going!!”
That, is when I broke. I started crying & looked at sean and said “My body is failing me, and I am failing our daughter”
Discouraged, Sean grabbed me close and prayed.
We finally got into our room (a corner unit with nice big windows!), They hooked me up to the IV, Broke my water & it was game on!!
Contractions were still coming strong, 2 minutes apart & because of only being able to labour lying down – coping became harder & Harder. I was biting my blanket, moaning into the pillow, squeezing seans hand & doing a lot of praying. We both sat there, with tears streaming down our face just praying that the Lord would continue to work through this & us.. and that we would continue to rely on him.
I was only dilated another 2 more CM & Norah was facing sunny side up. I was thankful for the progress, but still discouraged it was rapid like people say it usually is. Scared I would need a C-section, all the emotions were flowing. At this point, since a emergency c-section was threatened, I was on 2 hours of sleep since Wednesday Morning, and the coping of these contractions were limited – We decided to get an epidural ( And girls, I AM SO GLAD I DID!!!) I felt like a complete failure at first, but the relief was so needed & I knew I needed the strength to push ( And boy, I was right )
Epidural is in! Momma was happy! Until her heart monitor started having abnormal blips. It kept dropping, nothing too alarming but concerning enough that they inserted a wire into me and attached it to her scalp (To get a better reading of her heart rate) Because of all this was happening, I wasn’t able to sleep – Worried something was wrong. So I just laid there. We tearfully prayed over and over again that the Lord would protect our sweet daughter.
Norah is still having some blips with her heart, but its being monitored by the nurse. The concern now was me. The nurse took my vitals & asked how I was feeling.. A little bit of a silly question to ask, but I was fine. Tired – but Fine. She said “You seem to have spiked a fever, Im going to give you a tylenol to see if it brings it down”
I felt fine! I tried everything to make me not have a fever lol. Took all the blankets off me, put a cold cloth over my forehead. But it wasn’t working..
She came back an hour later and my fever had spiked to 101.8 – The Dr came in and explained they were going to put me on high dose antibiotic to see if it breaks my fever. (FYI – it never worked)
At this point, I came to terms that I would probably need a c-Section, and it was okay. If it means my daughter would be safe. It was okay.
Friday, January 29th
Wasn’t I suppose to have a baby 2 days ago….
It was 8:00 AM, nurse change ( PS. my nurses were AMAZING!!! ) and time to check me. Ready to hear bad news, I heard the nurse say “Your 10CM!!” 10 CM!? Praise the Lord!!! I called our moms and said ” I did it!! I did it!! ” The excitement & nerves were unreal! I was so tired. We prayed again that the Lord would give me the strength I need to get our daughter her safely.
The nurse told us we are going to start pushing at 10:00 Am. Norah was still sunny side up, but the nurse said they usually flip on their own in transition.
10:00 AM Came, my midwife showed up for labour support & the nurse set me up to push! Here we go. 11 AM came.. 1 hour of pushing down..”She is coming soon right? I dont think I can do this any longer” I told the nurse. She looked at me and said “we need to keep going” I prayed relentlessly and said ” Lord, Please. Give me the Strength! Please!” With the worship song “Forever” Blaring in my ears.. The words kept repeating:
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome
I knew the Lord had His way in this.
Another hour had pass. I’m on 2 hours of pushing – Every 2 minutes. I was so exhausted, that between every 2 minutes – I would fall completely asleep. Sean was my rock. He kept looking me in the eyes and saying “You are amazing. I am so proud of you. You can do it” He rubbed my head, put a cold cloth on me, cried with me, prayed with me. I couldn’t of had a better partner in there with me.
I knew something was wrong. The nurses grew concerned, and in a matter of seconds. My room had 20 people in it. Two NICU team with the petiatricans, the OB + 2 residents and a slew of nurses. The OB said “Your babies heart rate is dropping significantly & we need to get her out.” Because she was sunny side up, they needed to use forceps to flip her & because she was too descending for an emergency c section, they had to do a full episitomy.
I remember the whole room yelling at me to push – & that I did!! The Lord restored my energy and I was able to push to get her head out! Thats when the Dr yelled ” The chord is wrapped around twice – we need to get her out” and thats when she started flat lining. I pushed one last time and our daughter came out. The Chord was wrapped so tight that he couldn’t just lift it off he had to cut them off.
“Why isn’t she crying”
I yelled at multiple nurses. I look at my husband (who saw everything) and said “Babe, why isn’t Norah crying? Why can’t we hear her” I know he didn’t know what to say, because he was as scared as I was. But with such grace he looked at me in the eyes and said ” She will be okay babe, You did amazing. I am so proud of you”
In a matter of seconds, our Daughter was taken away & our room went from 20 people .. To us & Our midwife cleaning up the Floor.
What just happened? What was wrong with Norah?
Every single thought & emotion went through my mind.
7 Hours passed (The worst 7 hours of my life) My mom came & Seans parents came and sat by our side.. and I finally got the OK to meet our daughter (I couldn’t of got in that wheel chair fast enough)
The nurses put the hood of her incubator down So I could see her better, and remember as sean pushed me towards her, my eyes filled with tears and I just cried. She was so beautiful. She was perfect. She was our daughter, and despite her entrance.. She was Fearlessly & Wonderfully made.
*Me meeting Norah for the first time*
Turned out, Norah came out completely Grey & it took them 2 minutes to resuscitate her. 30 Seconds any longer, the Doctor said we would of lost her. She Contracted Sepsis (An infection in her blood) and had to be put on antibiotics.
5 Days in the NICU later, We were home.
& life was perfect.
If you are mom to be, I don’t want you to read this story with fear. I want you to read this knowing that no matter what the circumstance or situation you are put in, God is fully and completely in control. That no matter what sort of plan you have, God has the ultimate plan!
In my mind, I imagined my husband cutting the chord, the doctor putting my sweet baby girl on my chest – I imagined us leaving for home only after a few hours & family coming and going with excitement.
That wasn’t what happened & thats okay …Because when I saw my Daughter, it was perfect. When I held her for the first time, it was perfect. When I saw sean hold her for the first time, It was perfect.
Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart…”
1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on Him, Because He CARES for you…”
These verses were on repeat during those 3 days.
Our lives are forever changed since Having Norah. Being a mom is rewarding, its a challenge, its joyous & I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. We love her so much & Praise God for the gift of life that She is.
Remember, To always Trust in the Lord.
Norah Mae Schwartzentruber
January 29th, 2016 @ 12:41 PM
9LBS 3 OZ
20.5 inches long